John Duncan, the manager who guided Chesterfield to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1997, has died aged 73.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Sean Dyche led the tributes to the former Dundee and Tottenham striker, who also managed Scunthorpe from 1981 to 1983, Hartlepool in 1983 and Ipswich from 1987 to 1990. Duncan had two spells at Chesterfield, firstly from 1983 to 1987 and, from 1993 to 2000, the latter tenure following a time as a schoolteacher.
In a statement released by the League Managers’ Association, Ferguson said: “I will always remember John with a great deal of respect and affection. When I was playing and managing in Scotland, I remember him playing up front for Dundee and then of course he went on to be an exceptional striker for Tottenham.
“I’ll never forget John, as manager of Chesterfield, leading his second division team to the 1997 FA Cup semi-finals which really was a fantastic achievement. John had such humility and a great sense of humour and I spoke with him only a matter of weeks ago. I will miss seeing him and I send my deepest condolences to his daughters, his sister, his partner and their families.”
Dyche, the former Burnley boss, captained Chesterfield in their memorable – and controversial – 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough at Old Trafford 25 years ago. He told the LMA: “I worked with John for a number of years whilst at Chesterfield FC through some of the best years in the club’s history.
“He was an excellent manager who always worked to get the best out of all of his staff and players in order to mould a team into one that could challenge and be successful. He was not only a manager to me, as he became a friend and a mentor as my career progressed from player to coach and on to being a manager.
“A loss to football and a big loss to me personally, but he won’t be forgotten by me or by all those who played under him or knew him.”